4000 petition against power hike

Tom Alweendo

A petition calling for ministerial intervention against the Electricity Control Board’s (ECB) decision to increase the electricity tariff by 8% has reached over 4 000 signatures in just four days.The decision by the ECB means effective 1 July, Namibians will pay between N$2,50 and N$3 per unit of electricity.

Katutura Residents Committee spokesperson Shaun Gariseb, who started the petition, says residents were not consulted adequately and the tariff hike will add further financial distress to poor households.

“All residents are affected in these tough financial times, it will negatively affect individuals and businesses,” Gariseb said on Monday.

The petition calls on mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo to use his ministerial powers to intervene and review ECB’s tariff hike.

“The minister is stripped of powers when determining these electricity hikes but is involved in determining licensing. The ECB relies on a national tarrif study that was done in the year 200. Yes, in 2001 when taxis cost N$5 and there was no Facebook. Circumstances have not changed in over 20 years (yet) they base their decisions on a study done two decades ago.” “On the ECB website the only documents that don’t download are the most important ones. Guidelines on tariff costing and methodology, (all) this according to the law must be availed to us the general public so we know how decisions were arrived at.The “Error” you see when trying to download is deliberate,” said Gariseb.

He said the only way to correct this is through demonstrations and legal action, “or else we must wait for load-shedding.

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